John Brown University students dressed to the nines to attend a murder mystery dinner, hosted by VIBE on March 8.
According to junior Rachel Bannert, one of the VIBE team members, about 50 people signed up to attend the Mardi Gras themed event centered around Pierre DuPre, a millionaire socialite in New Orleans who was killed with a string of Mardi Gras beads. The suspects were his family, friends, and house staff.
“A murder mystery dinner adds a great spin to the typical dinner party,” Bannert said. “It allows people to unleash their creativity and dramatic side as they really get into the character they have been assigned. Overall, these events include a lot of laughter and a lot of fun.”
For some students, this was their first experience with a murder mystery dinner, while others had done them before.
Senior Jonathan Bracklein played the part of Matthew ‘Gator’ Crovits, a Cajun boy from the Bayou who was in love with the deceased man’s daughter.
“It was my first experience with a murder mystery dinner, and it was pretty fun,” Bracklein said. “It was mostly following the storyline, but the social aspect of getting to watch my friends and I act out the overly dramatic scene was fun. I decided to participate randomly when my friends needed more people for their table. I just agreed out of curiosity, and I am very glad I did.”
Sophomore Danyele Williams participated in her first murder mystery dinner as the young live-in maid at the DuPre Chateau.
“This was my first time to go to a dinner like this at all. I loved it. I had so much fun,” Williams said. “I decided to go because I thought it would be fun to go to a dinner with some of my friends and try to solve a mystery together. If they do it again next year, I will definitely go.”
For junior Jennifer Mendenhall, who played the southern beauty queen whose father was murdered at the party, the idea of a murder mystery dinner was not a new one, but she decided to participate because it did not cost anything except a meal exchange, and it was something different to do with friends.
“I participated in a murder mystery dinner while I was studying abroad in Ireland. Both times were really fun,” Mendenhall said.
Mendenhall added that dinner put on by VIBE involved fewer characters but had a more in-depth storyline than the last murder mystery dinner she participated in.
“We laughed so much about our ridiculous outfits and all the crazy things we had to say and do,” Mendenhall said.
According to Bannert, who spent a lot of time coordinating the event, murder mystery dinners are an old tradition that VIBE decided to bring back to see how well it would go over with the student body.
“We were surprised at how many people really got into their character and dressed the part,” Bannert said. “It was so great to see so many people in fancy dresses or fisherman attire or maid uniforms.”
Bannert added that the event ended up having exactly the right amount of people attend.
“I think all of the tables had a fantastic time,” Bannert said. “We got a lot of good feedback. I think this is definitely something JBU will continue.”